My husband is having surgery this Thursday for scc, 1 cm, under his tongue in the back, and also reconstruction. He will be in step down for 48-72 hours and then a regular room for about a week.
What can we expect for the first few days? What should we bring to the hospital to make him comfortable?
I have found that doctors, as they should, want to tell us about all the potential problems that may possibly happen. That doesn't mean they will happen. That said, I don't know what you should bring other than a smile.
I don't know if they said anything about RND (radical neck dissection), but if they perform one, be prepared for a neck scar.
Things will look better in a few weeks if my experience is anything to go on.
I went thru surgery last April (just me due to C19) to have half my tongue removed and rebuilt it with a flap from my forearm. They also took my lymph nodes on that side of my neck. I had a tracheostomy so i could breathe/talk and a feeding tube. Doctors said about 2 weeks in the hospital before I went home to get stronger for about a month to start radiation.
Things I suggest for the hospital. An electronic writing pad such as Boogie Board which is what I used and it worked great. Some old t-shirts with the neck cut low to allow for easier maintenance of the trache tube. Shave your chest and forearm (where they take the flap and artery). Bring ipad or laptop to watch movies, do social media with loved ones, listen to music. I found dancing to be the best exercise in the hospital. With a dozen sensors and half a dozen drain bubbles hanging off you, it's clunky to walk around. So, i would stand next to my bed, pop some earbuds in and dance. It was fun and felt good. I could care less what show a nurse or passerby got as i was just happy to be cancer-free/getting better. Bring a journal and pen to take notes from doctors and nurses and generate your daily list for the doctor. I only got one visit a day with the doc in the morning, so i would write a list of 10-20 questions that just kept popping into my head all night. I also would document urination, pulse, all kinds of stuff to just let them know i was on it! I also brought a small picture of my wife and kids. It not only provided motivation but lots of fun conversations with the nursing staff.
Best wishes and prayers for a quick and full recovery. Please keep us up to date.
BTW...The recovery, depending on which procedures he is getting, can be in depth and long. I am happy to jump on a phone call or private email exchange to answer any questions. There is a lot to it - the trache tube, food, speech, radiation, etc.